Meet Christopher Basciano
Christopher Basciano won first place at this spring’s Graduate Research Symposium in the category of Engineering for his presentation on “A New Patient-Specific Paradigm for Endovascular Aneurysm Repair.” He became interested in medical device design while he was in high school where “some of my favorite courses included biology, human anatomy and physiology.” He feels that the field of biomedical engineering enables him “to utilize my interest in the human body without being a medical doctor, while still making improvements to human life.”
Basciano attended Mercer University (http://www2.mercer.edu) in Macon, GA, for his undergraduate degree and, during that time, gathered a toolbox of skills that “could be applied to medical device design such as computer aided engineering and computational simulations (in addition to advanced mathematics and other engineering tools).” He feels that he benefited from Mercer’s “unique engineering program by requiring all engineering majors to take the same core curriculum.” For example, “I took a thermodynamics course from a true mechanical engineering perspective in addition to electrical fundamentals courses from a true electrical engineering perspective.”
With a clear idea of what he wanted to study in graduate school, Basciano sought out Dr. Clement Kleinstreuer because of his international reputation. Also, Dr. Kleinstreuer’s group works in computational medical device design and biomechanics, which Basciano has found to be a perfect match for his interests. Since he has come to graduate school, he says, “My interests have begun to include experimental design in addition to pure computational research. I enjoy combining the tangible results from experiments with numerical simulations to provide a well-posed solution that is realistic and has an increased significant impact on the medical field.” His research presented at the Symposium involved the use of computational multiphysics simulations results that will be used “on a patient-by-patient basis for realistic laboratory testing as well as the assessment of biomarkers for possible aneurysm rupture and recommendations for improved stent-graft design.”
Basciano’s advisor has designed his research group to “focus on teamwork/collaboration, engineering fundamentals, creativity, and communication development (both written and oral).” The work on the poster presentation became just one more aspect of this collaboration as “preparing the visual aspects and oral presentation of the poster are among the everyday research tasks in our lab.” In celebration of the poster’s first place win, it is now hanging on the wall near the entrance to the lab (3198 Broughton Hall).
During his down time, Basciano says that he enjoys playing “almost any sport, but my favorites are soccer, basketball, and ultimate Frisbee. I also enjoy spending time with my wife, playing video games, hanging out with friends, cooking, and playing the guitar. Recently, I have also been elected to be the President of the MAE GSA chapter.” However, the realities of graduate school mean that when he asks himself “Do I have time to do all these things? The simple answer is a resounding ‘No.’ I have to pick and choose what hobbies I am going to participate in during a stretch of time, because they all cannot be completed simultaneously.”
Still, his time in Raleigh has not been all work. Basciano and his wife have found both advantages and disadvantages to living in the area: “We both enjoy the benefits and opportunities of a city (museums, concerts, stores, etc.) blended with the natural beauty of the region (trees, greenery, etc.). The negatives are the increased traffic, possibility of the area growing faster than it can handle, and the overcrowded schools if we wanted to start a family.” He and his wife also enjoy “the cultural diversity of the area as compared to our previous residences in Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee.” The variety of cuisine available in the area has been a real plus! “I am third generation Italian-American so being in an area with lots of different cuisines is something I really enjoy, because I enjoy all food not just Italian.” It is clear that Basciano likes to get out and enjoy life -- which is somehow appropriate for someone who has chosen a profession designed to improve human life.